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UB defensive coordinator Joe Cauthen to join Stephen F. Austin's staff

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The University at Buffalo football team is in search of a new defensive coordinator.

Joe Cauthen, who was UB’s defensive coordinator for the 2021 season, will join the coaching staff at Stephen F. Austin as its defensive coordinator.

ESPN originally reported Cauthen’s hire at Stephen F. Austin, a Football Conference Subdivision program in Nacogdoches, Texas. A UB athletic department spokesperson confirmed Friday to the News that Cauthen is no longer with the program, and will join the Lumberjacks staff.

Cauthen’s tenure at UB lasted less than nine months; he joined the staff in May under first-year head coach Maurice Linguist. FootballScoop.com reported last week that UB was parting ways with Cauthen, which a source confirmed to the News. According to salary information obtained by The News from UB through a Freedom of Information Law request, Cauthen earned an annual salary of $103,000. 

Cauthen has coached at the high school, junior college and college football levels since 1990, and worked on the Valdosta State staff with Linguist in 2008.

Cauthen spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons as Houston’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, but was let go by the Cougars in January of 2021. He was hired in March at Arkansas as a defensive analyst, but left to join Linguist’s initial staff.

The Bulls were 4-8 in 2021. UB finished sixth in the Mid-American Conference in scoring defense (29.9 points per game), were eighth in the MAC in rushing defense (194.92 yards), fifth in the MAC in pass defense (220.9 yards) and seventh in total defense. However, the Bulls gave up an average of 417.2 yards per game last season, including four games in which they surrendered at least 500 yards to their opponents.  

Cauthen’s departure is the second on UB’s coaching staff after Linguist’s first season as head coach. Running backs coach Mike Daniels joined Georgia Tech’s staff in December in the same position.

The coaching departures are also part of a larger exodus from the program. According to 247Sports, 22 UB players have entered the transfer portal, including running back Dylan McDuffie, who was UB’s leading rusher last season.

Six players who entered the transfer portal have announced they will join new programs for the upcoming season: quarterbacks Kyle Vantrease (Georgia Southern) and Trevor Bycznski (Ashland), center Bence Polgar (Missouri), linebacker Tim Terry (Akron), running back Kolbe Burrell (Northwestern State) and offensive lineman Nolan Gorczyca (Kansas).

Additionally, running back Kevin Marks declared for the NFL draft in December, forgoing an extra year of eligibility due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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College/high school sports enterprise reporter

I'm a college/high school sports enterprise reporter at The Buffalo News. I've worked in sports journalism since 1997 and I have covered everything from college football to the Stanley Cup playoffs, high school sports and the NCAA Tournament.

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